The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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June 21, 2013

St. Francis leader to continue tenure for another year

LORETTO — Following a recent meeting of St. Francis University’s board of trustees, the Rev. Gabriel Zeis will continue to serve as university president for one more year.

Zeis was scheduled to wrap up his 10-year term this month, but with a change in the Franciscan hierarchy, he has agreed to stay in his position until June 30, 2014.

The leadership changes that have occurred within the Pro-vince of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus include the election of the Most Rev. Nicholas Polichnowski, TOR, to Minister General of the Third Order Regular. Polichnowski now will be based in Rome.

As a result of this election, the Very Rev. Richard Davis, TOR, replaces Polichnowski as the minister provincial of the Province of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, and as such now serves as chairman of the board of trustees for St. Francis and Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio.

“With a new chairman serving the university, Father Zeis agreed to stay on another year to help with that transition,” said Marie Young, St. Francis director of marketing and communications.

“Father Zeis agreed to stay while an extended search continues to replace him as president.”

The search committee will continue interviewing candidates identified by the Franciscan Friars, Third Order Regular.

Zeis, 75, announced in February that he would be stepping down.

When Zeis took the helm as president of his alma mater in 2004, he did so with a strong vision of where he could lead the university within the next decade.

That vision has solidified into a series of institutional accomplishments that will allow him to confidently transition the leadership role to a new president when the time comes.

The next president will be chosen from among the priests and brothers of the 139-member province.

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